Side Man | City Lit Theater | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Side Man The Short List (Theater) Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thursdays-Saturdays. Continues through Aug. 20 2011

This downbeat, sometimes harrowing 1998 drama by Warren Leight is far more subtle and honest than Leight's subsequent work for TV's Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Set between 1953 and 1985, the play chronicles the failed marriage of journeyman jazz trumpeter Gene and high-strung music fan Terry. As Gene's career stalls when jazz is eclipsed by rock and roll, Terry's frustration develops into full-blown bipolar disorder aggravated by alcohol abuse; Gene's response to his wife's deterioration is denial, as he takes refuge in his art and leaves his and Terry's adolescent son to assume the role of caretaker. The script's insight into the impact of mental illness on a family is counterbalanced by its wry nostalgia for the bebop era and the great music it produced. Directed by Richard Stockton Rand, this Ka-Tet Theatre Company production features a haunting performance by Jeremy Clark as gentle, genial, yet emotionally isolated Gene; but in the hugely demanding role of Terry, Suzanne Miller fails to plumb the depths of despair and terror that underlie her foulmouthed, self-pitying rages. —Albert Williams

Price: $20


Add a review


Select a star to rate.